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A proposed law could make it a crime to injure or harass a police K-9 in Alabama.
That law would make it a class c felony to harass, assault or injure a police animal, a search and rescue animal or their handlers.
A class c felony conviction can mean two to 20 years in prison. Right now, only killing a police animal is a crime in Alabama.
We asked Homewood police K-9 officer Keith Smith about why this new law is needed.
"These K-9 that we use are our partners and they are just as important as a normal officer," Smith said.
"And these dogs are specially trained. They're expensive to train and they're a part of the police unit when either tracking down the suspects or protecting a police officer or innocent victim," bill sponsor Homewood Rep. Paul DeMarco said.
He hopes it will be reviewed in committee in the next couple of weeks.